Quick Review: Roxley Iron Clays

Ever have something you wanted to love so much, but it just wasn’t there?

That’s how I felt about Roxley’s Iron Clays. I wanted to love them. Everything about the box, inner case, and design of the chips were fantastic, but there was something off…

I came across a box of them at my local game shop last week and was immediately drawn in, but the price tag had me putting them back on the shelf quickly. But after reading online and looking into it more, I quickly returned to the shop and picked them up. Excited to get home and see how they feel, and that is where the disappointment started.

I’ve been looking for a replacement coin set for games since I sold my copy of Brass Deluxe. There is just something about premium coins or counters for games, it makes it feel more immersive, a more rounded experience. I had hoped that this was the item I was looking for, but it had one fatal flaw, the lack of weight. They felt cheap, not 1980’s plastic cheap, but not what I expected. I wanted it to feel like there was a little heft to it, just to make it feel “premium”, like Roxley advertises.

They never made it to the table, it was quickly listed on ebay and sold this morning. So the hunt for proper premium coins and counters continues.

Review: Fields of Arle

Fields of Arle is a 2 player worker placement game by Uwe Rosenberg, released in 2014 by Z-Man Games.  As with most of Uwe’s games, it revolves around a family of farmers, trying to carve out a place of their own without starving.  But unlike his other 2 player offerings (Agricola All Creatures Big and Small, La Harve The Inland Port), this is not a slimmed down version of one of his other successful publishing’s, this my friends is a deep strategy game that plays out fantastically over 9 rounds, leaving little time to devise a strategy and get your house in order for final scoring.

Fields of Arle takes place in the early 1800’s in the small village of Arle, located in East Frisia.  What was later released in an expansion (we’ll get to that in another post), it’s historically accurate and provides a proper depiction of life in this little town.  Workers were literally reclaiming land from the sea by creating draining systems so the peat could be harvested and the land used to settle new establishments.

zm7490_layout

As with most worker placement games, your small family has a limited number of workers that can be used each round, each being assigned to a different task.  But unlike other worker placement games, where players are fighting over the same actions, the designer provided a plethora of actions available.  Instead of providing a single route to victory, there are multiple to choose from.  Are you going to farm? Are you going to be a trader? Are you going to establish buildings or hone your skills to be more efficient in your actions?  That is what makes Fields of Arle different, and great.  You can develop your own strategy to victory, and hone it over time, and revise it from game to game.

I love what Uwe has done here, and it continue to be a top choice for early morning board games with my brother.  If you’re a fan of Uwe, worker placement, or farming in general, this is a great game to add to your collection.

For a more in-depth look, I highly recommend reading Shut Up and Sit Down’s review located here. You can also read the overview over on Z-Man Games.

Links

Fields of Arle at Amazon

Fields of Arle at BoardGameGeek.com

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